5 Best Ways to Be Happier Working From Home Successful People Swear By
How to Be Happier Working From Home
An April 2020 Gartner HR Survey reveals that 41% of employees are likely to work at home at least some of the time after the coronavirus pandemic remotely. Working from home is different. So many are experiencing this with mixed emotions. There’s no question about it, though; working remotely has plenty of benefits. Working from home means that you can do things you couldn’t if you worked in an office. For example, you can see your children off to school every morning and be there when they returned home. However, if you’re used to working in an office, you have probably found that the transition can be a bit of a shock. This article will describe the five best methods on how to be happier working from home.
Yet, a home-office has many perks once you accept that this is your new office life. The Internet has a myriad of helpful tips for working out of your home. But the primary one is to learn to be happy with your situation as that will make you far more productive and efficient. It will also make tasks more manageable, making your time seemed to fly.
Most of us began working from home, deprived of our regular office, as a temporary solution to the pandemic. We were under the impression that it would be short term. So most of us worked with what we had, making a temporary on the dining room or kitchen island to make do. Now that it appears that you will probably be at home longer as some companies are reporting shifts to permanent at-home workers. Therefore, it is important to plan out how to be happier working from home and then put your plan into motion. Here are five ways you can use.
Make Your Happy Space
The first and most obvious step is to begin making your surroundings happier and more comfortable. Make it inviting, a place that you want to enjoy. Think of space with a door you can close if practicable, to provide added privacy and less distraction, such as a spare bedroom. Of course, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a spare room or even a finished basement area. So if you must share your office in an open room such as a living room or dining room, set it up to be inviting. What is essential is that the area you chose to use is devoted to only the office. Convening at the kitchen table with your laptop doesn’t count as your home office space.
Place your work surface near a window, purchase a bright task lamp, perhaps a few plants, and, most of all, a comfortable desk chair. Invest in a few decorations that make your office location more inviting for you. Ikea has excellent budget-priced office furnishings to give you ideas. If you make your space an area you enjoy being in, it will pay off in productivity dividends.
You can inquire with your company. Many companies offer their employees an allowance to help offset the cost of furnishing a home office. But, if this isn’t possible, you may be able to make do with the furniture you have with some creative rearranging. Craigslist is a great source. Since more people are working from home, there will be many businesses with excess desks, chairs, and equipment so check your local classified ads, too. Smaller offices may be closing down, offering furniture for free, move it out.
It would be best if you also considered the technical side of a home office. You will need more than Internet access for your home office if you want to work most efficiently. You’ll have to consider access to VPN. Then list all the components you will need to secure your Internet service, such as a firewall, malware detection, virus protection, and multi-factor authentication for apps and software you use for work.
Your employer should provide this security. But if not, you should consider getting it anyway to protect your data and identity. You will want some files backup, whether it be on an external hard drive or the use of a cloud service. Then, of course, you will need a proper microphone and camera on your PC or laptop to communicate on ZOOM calls. Consider buying an inexpensive netbook or reusing an older computer. When you mix your computer’s personal and professional use, before long, others in your family will be using it as well.
How to Feel Happier Quickly
To quickly increase your work-at-home happiness, give yourself regular breaks. It would be best if you took a timeout for yourself during your work hours. We often find ourselves so concentrated on our work; we forget to pause for a rest stop. Taking a break refreshes and reenergizes. It gives us time to think and a chance to more creative. Try meditating, get up and walk around; better yet, take a fifteen-minute walk outside in the fresh air.
We all know that sitting for long periods at a time is not healthy. So break up your time with a bit of exercise. Your goal should be to give yourself two fifteen breaks a day, plus a scheduled timeout for lunch. Maintain that daily routine to keep your body moving. Detach from your work so that you can refocus and start with fresh eyes on your work. It will reward you with more happiness as well as invigorate your mental and physical health.
Increase Communicate with the People You Work With
Over 50 years of happiness research has proven that the quantity and quality of a person’s social connections—friendships, relationships with family members, closeness to neighbors, and the like, is so closely related to well-being and personal happiness the two are almost equated.
From an article in the Optimist Daily, according to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, relieving stress is the factor that can help us increase happiness the most. And while you may believe that stress at work comes from being too busy, Wiking says poor communication is usually at the heart of stress. “Stress comes from places where communication does not flow properly,” Wiking says.
Communication with your colleagues is crucial, especially while working remotely. Make it a point to inform the people that matter of your current projects and accomplishments. Let people know when you start your day and end it. It is also smart when participating in virtual meetings to share your team’s activities and point out how you have set and exceeded goals. You can also ask your manager for a performance review or an informal check-in.
When working alone, you can become isolated and feeling down quickly. Therefore, make it a priority to connect with the people around you. You can set up virtual happy hours to help reinforce your connections and reduce the feeling of loneliness. In summary, take the time to connect with people.
How to Be Happier in a Relationship
Now how did this topic sneak into a work at home article, you may ask? Because it is challenging to have a harmonious relationship with the family working from home. A crucial step is to increase your communication with the people you live with. For family members, working from home is a whole new concept for them too. Setting expectations with your partner is paramount to know when you can or cannot help. Suggest that when the door is closed, you should not be disturbed and ask them to respect that. With an office out in the open, it can be challenging to get the solitude needed to do your work. Make sure your family understands this need.
A good communication signal is to use headphones. Explain that if the headphones are on that, you need privacy. If the headphones are on, it also means, “I am in a meeting, I’m not accessible, and I can get to you as soon as I am done.” Your family will respect your boundaries once you enforce them, and they will all be happier for it. It is just a bit awkward in the learning stages.
If you have children at home, hire a babysitter part-time. Let the sitter feed them lunch. You can take that break from office work and share it with the kids for 10–15 minutes to play with them and start naps or quiet time. You can work undisturbed during that time, hop on a video call or work on your to-do list for the day. When they wake up, take another 10–15 minutes to get them interested in something such as playing in the backyard, coloring, or quite games and the like, and finish up your work for the day.
Organize for a Happy Work Outcome
Working from requires extra discipline and strong time management abilities. These abilities allow you to minimize distractions, improve your work-life balance, and meet project deadlines. When assigned a new task, plan to get it done early rather than procrastinating.
Papers and files can quickly pile up in any office. It is particularly true in a home office where you have limited workspace. Gaining control is essential to maximize your productivity and before your desk piles up with clutter. Use the system of threes. That is, take each document one-by-one and either put it in the proverbial circular file, file it or take action from it. Use a color-coded file system for your important papers.
For your file system, pick up a two-drawer file cabinet or open bins (if you prefer that look), you can place under your work table or hidden away in the closet. Then at the end of your workday, make it a habit to file away your papers. Please don’t leave them out to accumulate. There is nothing more discouraging when sitting down at a desk with a pile of disorganized documents.
To keep control of the documents arriving in the home office, establish a mail station. Set up a folder for incoming and outgoing mail, mail to file, and bills. Then when the mail arrives, file it in the proper folder for action. Establish a regular time to go through the folders.
Now a few words about a very efficient home office file system. Set up hanging files with colored tabs. Use six colors for each category according to your needs. Here is a suggestion, but of course, you can vary it depending on your circumstances:
Keeping your office neat and well organized makes it a more inviting and happy place to work. Few people want to sit behind a disorganized desk. It is up to you to make it a continually inviting location to accomplish your work.
Well, there you have it. It is a difficult time for all of us. For many, working from home has added to the struggle. Your productivity working from home will tend to fluctuate, depending on your self-discipline. Working from homes means that you are both worker and supervisor – there are no specific conduct policies to follow (sure, you can wear your sweatsuit) and no specific office routine.
It is vital to have a work area that makes you happy. Because if you are not happy, your output will suffer. When you work in a happy mood at your work, production will give you a sense of satisfaction, ultimately resulting in significant benefits for both the company and yourself. You will love everything that comes before you and will be able to put the best effort into that work.
However, to be at your happiest and productive in your home office, you need to maintain a certain level of discipline, along with effective time management, to accomplish your goals. So by establishing a comfortable place to work, a place that makes you feel happy, and by establishing rules for family interaction, you find you can be exceedingly productive.
I do hope these tips have been helpful to you showing you how to be happier working from home. Please let me know in the comments below. For more on happiness, I invite you to take the Happiness Quiz to test your state of happiness.